Anything for You

by: Freddie McGregor

Many of reggae's greatest singers have aged badly, and many others have died young, not managing to age at all. Very few have gotten better as they've aged. Who would have thought that Freddie McGregor, much of whose earlier output was pleasant but unexceptional, would be one of those rare reggae artists who does just that? Anything for You finds him in better voice than ever -- it's a little rougher around the edges, but that roughness adds a pleasant depth to his singing and his delivery is more assured than ever. He's certainly writing as well as he ever has. As usual, love songs provide the strongest moments on the album: "For You" is an endearingly macho gesture, while "Cover for Me" offers a strange but sweet lyrical conceit and "Hold Me" recycles the immortal rhythm to the Cables' "Baby Why" to fine effect. But there are also a couple of worthwhile roots & culture numbers, including the heartfelt "Loving Jah." (On the other hand, did the world need one more cover version of "In the Ghetto"? Probably not.) Highly recommended overall. ~ Rick Anderson

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